Art Gallery Murder
The first of this year’s new mystery movies from Hallmark was released this past weekend. I actually feel like it is a little late this year, especially since we don’t get our next new movie until next month. Another sign of the year we’ve had, I’m sure. Anyway, we returned to Martha’s Vineyard with this new movie – Ships in the Night, and it was fun.
There’s an upcoming fundraiser in Martha’s Vineyard, and one of the local art galleries has agreed to donate a painting to be auctioned off. However, there seems to be some miscommunication, and when retired Boston cop Jeff Jackson (Jessie Metcalfe) agrees to pick up the painting as a favor, it isn’t ready. The next day, Zee Madieras (Sarah Lind) shows up at the gallery to clear up the confusion to find a dead body in the middle of the floor.
Despite the fact that he is retired, Jeff once again finds himself investigating the latest murder in Martha’s Vineyard, helping out Zee’s father, the police chief (Eric Keenleyside). They quickly find several motives, but which one actually lead to the murder?
I really enjoyed the first two movies in this franchise that we got last year, so I was thrilled that our first movie of the year was a return to these characters. There is more set up than I’ve described here, and the mystery does a great job of confusing things with multiple potential motives until Jeff and Zee narrow things down.
In you are new to the franchise, Jeff and Zee were friends in their teens and have the requisite slow burn romance. Zee is a doctor and the local medical examiner, so her involvement in the case makes some sense. Okay, so she wouldn’t really go out and question suspects with Jeff, and he wouldn’t be out following leads on his own. But we’ll ignore that break from police procedure because the movie is fun.
It helps that we really like all the main characters. They are a fun bunch and the chemistry between the actors is wonderful. It’s easy to buy all the relationships we see on screen.
Of course, there is the Hallmark cheese factor. There is a slight dose of it here; fans of these movies might not even notice it at all.
There are still some dangling plot threads in the character’s lives, so I hope we get another visit to Martha’s Vineyard this year. Fans of the franchise and Hallmark’s mysteries in general will enjoy Ships in the Night.